LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – We are calling on the Prime Minister to support the passage of Labor’s Bill to remove discrimination exemptions for religious schools.
Currently, Section 38 of the Sex Discrimination Act gives religious schools an exemption from the law “in the provision of education”.
No school should be exempted from the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the principles of equality and non-discrimination to allow them to discriminate against students or staff on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity.
The current Labor Bill would legislate the protection of LGBTI students from discrimination by repealing exemptions for religious schools.
On October 12 Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would ensure amendments are introduced as soon as possible to make it clear that no student of a non – government school should be expelled on the basis of their sexuality.
Mr Morrison stated at that time: “I believe this view is shared across the Parliament and we should use the next fortnight to ensure this matter is addressed.
“Our government does not support expulsion of students from religious non – state schools on the basis of their sexuality. I also know that this view is widely shared by religious schools and communities across the country.
“In addition to Universal Human Rights, our fundamental Australian values of inclusion and acceptance must be protected and enshrined throughout legislation.”
There is no ‘good faith’ in exempting religious schools and allowing them to refuse enrolment, expel students or sack school staff based on their sexuality.
When the Prime Minister does not act in the best interests of the child or their teachers we are diminished as a community and a nation.
Tabby Fudge (pictured)
President of the Northern Territory Council of Government School Organisations